Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Mike Smith

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Benugo Waterloo: great location, good product, service.....utter FAIL
What can I say, Benugo have a fantastic location at Waterloo for a coffee bar. For a station, its relaxing and peaceful, however can they get their act together to deliver their core product? No. Last week, one person ahead of me to pay for coffee, three people ahead of me waiting for coffee.... how long did it take? Ten minutes and in the process serving two people *behind* me in the queue. This isn't a one off and clearly they haven't got a clue how to deliver a rapid service in such a location. Maybe their restaurants are better, but at this location they are a complete failure. Go downstairs to Costa where they know their product, clientele and service.

posted on: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 | path: /eating | permanent link to this entry

Ciao Bella, Bloomsbury
I had a very pleasant meal at Ciao Bella, a wonderful "little" Italian restaurant in the heart of Bloomsbury and at the north end of Lamb Conduit Street. We went early evening when it was relatively quiet, but apparently it gets packed out and needs to be booked in advance. The food was excellent and, amazingly, you can get a two course meal for 2 for under 30 (without drinks). Highly recommended.

posted on: Fri, 01 May 2009 | path: /eating | permanent link to this entry

Peyton and Byrne @ St "Meet me at" Pancras
I met a colleague at St Pancras recently and we decided to grab a quick coffee so headed to the nearest coffee bar which happened to be Peyton and Byrne, "a British Bakery". All I can say is that if this is the state of British bakeries, please o please bring on the French. A luke warm cup of coffee, followed by a rock hard sandwich for my colleague was enough. And to cap it all off, someone walked off with my cuppa leaving a half-finished hot chocolate. Cheers!

posted on: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 | path: /eating | permanent link to this entry

Dunstable Downs
I've been carrying out the further testing to the kite rig at Dunstable Downs (Note: whilst Mastermap might be up-to-date, the Landranger maps displayed at Steremap most certainly aren't!). This offers fantastic views out over the Vale of Aylesbury, is wonderfully windy and hosts the internationally famous Dunstable Kite Festival (which incidentally is TOMORROW). It's well worth a visit and now has the new Chiltern Gateway visitor centre. Designed to be eco-friendly and blend in to the landscape, it offers fantastic views out across the Vale and sports a reasonable cafe/restaurant.

posted on: Sat, 28 Jul 2007 | path: /eating | permanent link to this entry

Inn on the Park, St Albans
Another occasional haunt is the Inn on the Park in St Albans. Really a cafe-cum-coffee bar, its situated on the north side of the park in Verulamium and is a rather pleasant place to go in winter. The food is home cooked, the coffee good (naturally!) and its just mellow. The same cannot be said for it in the summer when it gets very busy, particularly as the "splash park" is only 50 yards away; avoid at all costs if you want peace and quiet!!

posted on: Tue, 05 Dec 2006 | path: /eating | permanent link to this entry